I love the classic elements of the horror genre, almost as much as I love seeing those conventions evolve and expand. One such staple has managed a grand metamorphosis before our very eyes, though not everyone has noticed. The first love of many young men is the Scream Queen. The very thought of the covertly sexy, girl next door running from danger, really gets our red, white, & blue blood pumping. You see it appeals to both our sexuality and our need to see ourselves as heroes, at least in a vicarious, surrogate sense. Ah but these days the dames are different my friends. Today’s New Age Scream Queen often only screams from pain or anger and is in fact likely to make you scream first. From Fay Wray to Janet Leigh, From Jamie Lee to the girls of “Scream” the Scream Queen has died a million times in a million different ways.
Now, it’s her turn to be the bad ass!
There’s no doubt in my mind that currently there are several modern Queens sharing the dark throne including a couple personal favorites of mine; Angela Bettis and Danielle Harris. These fully empowered women of film have done something amazing, they’ve given the Scream Queen power and respect behind the camera. They can write, direct, and produce their own horror films, and on most days they can do it better than the legions of male horror maestros. They’ve paved a new path for women in horror and trust me there are plenty of genre princesses hungry for the crown. Here are my three favorite future monarchs.
Amber Heard made her film debut in the sports drama Friday Night Lights, starring Billy Bob Thornton. After small roles in North Country and Alpha Dog, Heard played her first leading role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and appeared in The CW television show Hidden Palms.
Her breakthrough came in 2008 with roles in Never Back Down and Pineapple Express. She received the Breakthrough Award at the Young Hollywood Awards. She got widespread attention after her appearance in films such as The Informers, The Stepfather, Zombieland and The Joneses. She next starred in John Carpenter's The Ward, then alongside mega stars Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry, and Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary, for which she won a Spotlight Award at The Hollywood Film Festival. Recently she appeared in the films 3 Days to Kill, Magic Mike XXL and 2016 Oscar contender, The Danish Girl.
Let’s face it, she’s visually hypnotic and when things aren’t moving fast enough she can definitely take your mind off the plot for a minute or two. With titles like “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”, John Carpenter’s “The Ward”, A poignant remake of “And Soon the Darkness”, along with appearances in “Zombieland” and “Drive Angry” Amber is either going to fully blossom in to a big box-office bombshell, or remain a genre favorite for years to come.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Katherine made her screen debut as a child in Cousins (1989), followed by supporting roles in numerous films and television series. Initially credited as Katie Murray, she later began using the name Katherine Isobel and subsequently Katharine Isabelle. As a scream queen, she has starred in the werewolf horror films, Ginger Snaps (2000), its sequel, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004), and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004). Her portrayal of the death-obsessed teen, Ginger Fitzgerald, became one of her most notable roles. Additional roles in horror films include Disturbing Behavior (1998), Carrie (2002), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010), American Mary (2012), See No Evil 2 (2014), Torment (2015) and a very satisfying supporting role on the NBC show Hannibal.
For her performance in the horror film, American Mary (2012), she earned several nominations for best actress, including The Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, The Screamfest Horror Film Festival and The Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
A decade or so ago Katherine became a familiar face in Horrorville. Isabelle made a name for herself among horror hounds with her role as Ginger in the “Ginger Snaps” series. She has continued to work regularly in decent genre films such as “Freddy vs. Jason” and “Carrie 2: The Rage”. Then came the Soska Sister’s erotically charged surgical nightmare “American Mary”. Isabelle proved she was a grown damn woman. Registering off the charts sexuality and handing in an unforgettable and gripping performance Isabelle cemented her place in horror for as long as she wants it.
Vinson's introduction into the entertainment industry was initially as a musician, before a transition to acting. At seventeen years old, Vinson and three other girls were grouped together in a Pop/R&B girl group, Foxfire IV. The group's first and only single to date, "Roses", failed to make an impact and the group disbanded. In October 2010. After roles in Step Up 3D & Blue Crush 2, Vinson returned to Australia to begin production on her first role in an Australian film. That film was the Paramount Pictures horror film Bait 3D. Vinson gave a standout performance as Tina, the protagonist's ex-girlfriend. The film follows a group of people trapped inside a flooded supermarket, following a freak tsunami, with a 12-foot great white shark..
Since then Sharni has given an excellent turn in the underrated remake, Patrick: The Evil Awakens as the object of an menacing invalid's psychic desires. She also gave an awesome and just plain bloody performance as the thrill a minute heroine in Adam Wingard's You're Next.
I got my first glimpse of this super-talented Aussie hottie about 3 years ago in the surprise shark attack film “Bait” and even though the little Australian film only made a small splash in the U.S., there was something enthralling about the movie’s lead actress, something more than just a bang’n beach body. Then 2 Summers ago my memory was jogged when Sharni stole the show in Adam Wingard’s home invasion thriller “You’re Next” as the bad ass beauty in charge. Vinson also starred in a very serviceable remake of the classic 70’s horror/thriller “Patrick”, I liked the film and felt it was generally underrated by most critics. In my opinion it was another clear winner for Ms. Vinson. True, it’s only three films, but it’s a number of factors that make the gorgeous girl from down under my top choice to rule the realm. Doubters? Understandable. Calculate the quality of the films she’s made, plus her spot on performances, multiplied by a staggering charisma that illuminates the screen and guarantees the camera will find her for years to come. It all adds up to a New Age Scream Queen with staying power.
That's all for now horror lovers. Who’s your favorite next-gen Scream Queen? Comment below and let us hear your pick to hold the crown.
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